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European capacities for citizen deliberation and participation for the Green Deal, ID: LC-GD-10-1-2020
All areas of the European Green Deal, from climate action to zero pollution, require citizens' active support at all stages of the transitions. Workable solutions, accepted and taken-up at scale, can only be found through the active participation of all concerned. This is particularly the case of complex issues with diverging views or interests at stake, such as the rural-urban gap, attitudes to the bio-economy, water management, the choice of energy sources, etc. Such issues can best be addressed through participatory processes involving citizens from different cross-sections of society across Europe, including by engaging them throughout the innovation life cycle as social innovators. The Conference on the Future of Europe has further heightened awareness of the need for participatory processes and raised expectations in this respect. Strong expectations of citizen participation have also been raised in the context of Horizon Europe preparation, in particular for Horizon Europe Missions, which will be highly relevant to the European Green Deal.

Such processes may include a large spectrum of co-creation activities and events based on dialogue and information exchange, including but not limited to virtual ones. Modalities of participatory processes differ according to goals and expected outcomes, from harnessing diversity of knowledge, expectations and views in order to improve knowledge quality and enrich the inputs to policy discussions; up to creating 'mini-publics' in order to extend the arenas of public discussion and improve the representativeness of policy decisions. For these processes to be effective, participants should be equipped with appropriate tools and information, they should be strongly connected to decision-making bodies - examples span from simple feedback mechanisms to participatory budgeting - and they should be empowered to reflect, deliberate and propose change at a systemic level.

This topic covers citizen deliberation and participation. Actions should establish transnational networks of experts, researchers, practitioners and relevant civil society organisations specialised in deliberative democracy and civic participation across Europe, including professionals in the field of public engagement. Experts on gender equality and climate justice should also be included. They should share good practice, tools and resources and implement participatory and deliberation processes on priority issues in order to deliver on the Green Deal, both at the level of local communities and at wider scale. They should establish connection across the diverse participation and deliberation processes across regions and countries up to the European level. They should build on already existing experience and tools, notably open access ones stemming from EU-funded projects such as the RRI Tools platform.

Actions should include several deliberative processes, each of them implemented in a significant number of Member States or associated countries and complemented by a European online multilingual deliberative platform. Specific topics for deliberation should be co-decided with the European Commission services involved in implementing the Green Deal. They should support major EU actions where public participation is key, including but not limited to Horizon Europe Missions, in close cooperation with the respective mission boards, and other R&I initiatives.

A balanced overall coverage of EU and Associated Countries should be sought. Vulnerable and marginalised categories of the population, minorities and various age groups, including both youth and the elder generation, as well as urban, peri-urban and rural areas, should be considered in analysis and included in deliberations. Gender balance should be ensured and gendered issues should receive specific consideration.

Actions should design methodologies for each individual exercise, relying on comparative analysis of international practice and involving people or groups concerned. Depending on their specific objectives, they may either ensure consistency across Member States/Associated Countries for transnational comparability, or select a range of different methodologies to compare their effectiveness.

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